I know you all are probably sick of me gushing about my love for Ruth Ware but damn, I love her! I listened to this one on audible and the narrator, Imogen Church, slaaaaaaays once again.
Two days before a career changing business trip aboard the luxury cruise liner, Auroras, maiden voyage, Lo Blacklocks London flat is broken into and burgled. Lo, writer for the travel magazine, Velocity, is shaken but not harmed and despite her sleep deprived state (who can sleep comfortably after a break in?) she packs her bags and boards the vessel in what is promised to be 5 days of top of the line luxury cruising. After perhaps one too many drinks, while sleeping fitfully in her cabin on the first night, Lo hears a scream from the cabin next door, and the distinguishable sound of a body hitting the water outside.
Rushing to her balcony she can make out the body of a woman sinking beneath the waves. Immediately calling staff security, they are confused with her desperate attempts to explain what she heard/saw. No one had been assigned to cabin 10, the investor who was slated for that room cancelled last minute and it remains unoccupied. But that doesn’t explain who the woman was Lo saw in the room before dinner, the one who lent her some mascara. And she is certain she heard that scream and splash. As Lo starts digging, someone tries to thwart her every move. Stuck out at sea, Lo is trapped on board with a killer, but who? And who was the woman in cabin 10?
This was like a modernized version of Murder on the Orient Express. Stuck in the middle of the ocean on a small luxury cruiser, the suspects are obviously very limited. Lo’s profession as a journalist and thus her investigative nature obviously lends well to the plot. There are some amazing “ah-ha!” moments that are honestly really just masterful. I was engaged, enthralled, and enraptured the entire time. The two fold mystery of who the woman was (and why no one knew she was aboard) as well as who killed her (and why) had my gears working double time trying to fit the pieces together (I definitely didn’t fit them together either haha). Ware did a good job of making Lo just unreliable enough (drinking, lack of sleep, mental health history, recent burglary that set her on edge) that the stone walls she kept running into with the security officer and other passengers was plausible. And let’s face it, her gender helped too; women are all too often thought to be hysterical or over-imaginative <insert annoyed eye roll here>
Overall this read was thrilling and suspenseful, the perfect mix of intrigue and conspiracy. I have officially now read all of Wares books and CAN’T WAIT for her 2019 publication The Turn of the Key.
Until next week friends!